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Salad Days

"Super Foods" salad with about a gazillion ingredients.

“Super Foods” salad with about a gazillion ingredients.

I never actually understood that term. I think it means good times, right? As in, “ah, those were the salad days.” But I don’t really understand why. What’s so great about a salad?

Salads are a bunch of work. They takes lots of small bits of ingredients and toss them all together. All of those ingredients have their own needs, like the need for washing and cutting. It’s quite labor intensive, if you ask me, for not such a great reward. I don’t HATE salads. In fact there are several salads that I like a lot. Chipotle has a wonderful salad that packs in the veggies and protein and tastes great. So does Wildflower Bakery. In fact, most places that are salad friendly do, but the problem is that I usually want the OTHER good stuff that’s on their menus. Still, when I do order a salad, I usually enjoy it.

The issue is making salads at home. You have to buy all those different ingredients and by the time you’re done you have a massive salad fit for a crowd, or you have lots of leftover veggies. Either way it’s a pain in the neck. Thank goodness for Pinterest and the popularity of mason jar salads.

I was skeptical at first, but then I saw a few of my colleagues jump on the bandwagon, and they were eating delicious salads each day with just one prep session. I poked around a bit more on the internet and learned that, like everything else, there are different methods for prepping these salads. I decided to modify what I read and do it my way.

My own personal preference is to keep the dressing separate and add it when I’m ready to eat. I put the following pre-washed wide-mouth mason jars:

black beans (one can split, rinsed and drained)

Mexican style canned corn (one can split, rinsed)

sliced red pepper

chicken breast strips

lettuce and spinach to the top

This week I plan to add in sliced mushrooms. One week I had some leftover shredded cheddar, so I added that and it stayed good all week.

One day of prep is no problem. These salads are excellent for lunch, and they fill me up. Still, I’m not above purchasing a ready-made salad from the store, particularly if it has 27 different ingredients in it, like my “Super Foods” salad from Whole Foods. In the words of a famous internet meme, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”